Sri Lanka elects Ranil Wickremesinghe as its new president

Sri Lanka elects Ranil Wickremesinghe as its new president

Economically wretched Sri Lanka elected its new President on Wednesday. The ongoing crisis in the island nation has left the economy and its people in tatters.

Its MPs elected prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lanka’s new president, despite his unpopularity with the public.

The newly-elected Wickremesinghe faces the challenge of leading the country out of its economic collapse and restoring public order after months of restlessness.

He successfully defeated his main rival for the job, Dullus Alahapperuma, with 134 votes to 82 in the parliamentary vote.

Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa already fled the country last week, ducking the whole situation.

Last week, thousands of protesters stormed the presidential residences and other government buildings, calling for Rajapaksa’s resignation.

They also called for the resignation of Mr Wickremesinghe, who was appointed Sri Lanka PM in May. Also, protesters burnt down his private home storming his prime ministerial office in Colombo in demonstrations against his decisions that left the country’s economy in recession.

Sri Lanka has effectively gone bankrupt and facing acute shortages of food, fuel and other basic supplies.

Sri Lanka, an island nation off southern India got freedom from British rule in 1948. Three ethnic groups namely Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim make up 99 per cent of the country’s 22 million population.

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